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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 10 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 2995 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

I will be supporting Mr Stanhope's amendments, having consulted with Ms Dundas' office. I am aware that the government has been working on this issue, and I am aware of the commitment of Mr Stanhope and other members of the Labor Party. We have had this discussion in this place several times over the last few years. Ms Dundas is here now. She is a strong and articulate voice on the issue. It is a good political environment for us to have this discussion. I am pleased with Mr Humphries' support and his open mind on the issue. The work is in progress. That is important. Hopefully, we will be able to take steps to repair some of the damage. I thank Ms Dundas for raising the issue.

Amendments agreed to.

MS DUNDAS (5.31): I thank members for their comments. I am happy to note that the government has already commenced a major part of this work. I look forward to further information on how things have progressed in the last few months. I would hope that the government might choose to release an interim report on the subject so we can see where we are up to.

I would like to reiterate that equality cannot be achieved by legislation alone. Governments need to take on responsibility for the implementation of well-resourced programs to combat homophobia. I note the excellent work that Sexual Health and Family Planning ACT is already doing in this area with the two in every classroom project and the new queer youth program Gilbert's Friends.

The Assembly has already accepted Mr Stanhope's amendments. Although they are not exactly as I would have phrased them, I am glad we have a government that has at least begun the process. We will watch to see how far it progresses.

Queer rights are human rights. I believe that members of the community should be free to follow their individual paths in terms of gender and sexuality and not be punished by this or any government for being themselves. Liberal democracy is not simply the will of the majority but also the protection of minorities to ensure that everyone in our community is treated as equal.

Motion, as amended, agreed to.

Community Referendum Bill 2002

Mr Humphries, by leave, presented the bill and its explanatory statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR HUMPHRIES (Leader of the Opposition) (5.33): I move

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Members, this bill is exactly the same as the bill of the same title that I presented this morning. Unfortunately, due to an administrative oversight, the notice that I gave for the bill did not cite the correct title. Therefore, in accordance with standing orders, this bill must be withdrawn and I will be moving a motion of effect as soon as I sit down. I am

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